Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lost Is Just Screwing With You

A couple months ago my cousin told me to watch Lost. I told him to go to hell. I'd seen a couple episodes in the first season, and it was enough to send me running to Mavis Gallant's Home Truths. "What's it about?" someone asked, regarding Lost. "It's about a bunch of people who were in a plane crash. And they're caught in the space-time continuum."

Having seen Back to the Future, I laughed. They're caught in the space-time continuum.

And I guess the flux capacitor is what makes Lost possible.

J.J. Abrams had an idea for a show where a plane crashes and people are stuck on an island. But he didn't want to steal his secondary plot from Lord of the Flies, and he didn't want to steal his tertiary plot from Gilligan's Island, and he didn't want to steal his quaternary plot from the X-Files, and he didn't want to make any of his characters brush their teeth or comb their hair. So he came up with Lost.

But there was a problem: the Networks wanted to know where the show was going. What was it going to be. The audience would want a resolution.

And that's why this converation happened:

[Setting: Fox studios, LA, August 2003]:

Fox Executive: What are you going to do with this thing? I don't buy it. Audiences won't buy it either. How are you going to keep them watching?

Abrams: Don't worry. I'll just fuck with them for a while.

FE: But what are you going to do? What about the storylines? Are they going to stay on the island?

A: They'll leave the island. Then they'll come back.

FE: But why will they come back?

A: I dunno.

FE: Well that's ridiculous. That's stupid. Unless...I think I saw this before--No, I forget.

A: What about this: they say, "We have to go back--BACK TO THE ISLAND!"

FE: You can do that?

A: Sure. I can do that...It's original.

FE: And this space-time bullshit? You think that's OK?

A: It's the space-time continuum. That shit is crazy.

FE: What do you mean?

A: Oh, man. There are monsters in that shit. Monsters and know...ghosts and crazy huge spiders.

FE: Spiders?

A: Massive spiders.


A: You know it!

FE: What about other characters?

A: Crazy hatches and things...

FE: I said what about other characters.

A: Oh, yeah. They're there too.

FE: Where?

A: In the bushes.

FE: The bushes?

A: They're all around, you know. It's an island.

FE: But how did they get there?

A: I told you. The space-time continuum. It sucked them up.

FE: Why?

A: It's crazy. It kills you know...resurrects you.

FE: How?

A: It's the space-time continuum. I don't know WHY. It just does, man. Like Einstein said.

FE: So they're just dead? That's it.

A: No, no. They're not dead.

FE: What are they?

A: They're in it.

FE: So how does the series end?

A: They realize they're in it.

FE: Hell? Heaven?

A: No. It.

FE? IT what?

A: (Pause) Hmm. It was just a dream!

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